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Everyone is new to fitness at some point.

No matter how jacked, lean, or athletic someone is right now, there was a day where they stepped foot in the gym for the first time and started taking their fitness seriously.

This is good to keep in mind because the gym can be a daunting place when you’re a newbie. What exercises should you do? How heavy should the weights be? How many sets should you do? How often should you exercise? How much should you eat to support your training and what foods? And when should you eat those foods?

The questions go on and on ad nauseum. 

Many people turn to the internet for answers, and when you’re new and inexperienced, you’re especially prone to believing myths, focusing on the wrong things, and making mistakes. You know, things like super high-rep sets to bring out the cuts, skipping breakfast with no carbs after 8 pm, spending more time “researching” and reading magazine articles than training, jumping from routine to routine (“shiny object syndrome”), and “no pain no gain, baby!”

I’m no exception either. I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes in training and nutrition, which is why I wrote books for beginners once I got most things right and learned what really moves the needle. I wanted to help people avoid the mistakes I made and reach their goals as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The point is, while the fitness game might be relatively simple, it’s not exactly self-explanatory or intuitive. Having a proper blueprint of what really matters is more than half the battle, and this concept of being new to the gym is something I wanted to talk about with Adam Pfau.

Like myself, Adam is no stranger to making mistakes as a newbie. He started out as a skinny teenager pumped full of misinformation, and now he’s downright jacked, and spends his time educating his 1.3 million followers on what really matters in the gym and in the kitchen. 

That is, Adam has become the educational resource that would have helped both him and myself tremendously when we first started training, so he knows all about navigating the fitness landscape as a newbie and avoiding potential pitfalls. This is also why we’re happy to have Adam on the team as a Legion Athlete.

In this episode Adam and I talk about . . .

  • Selecting a training program
  • How to find good sources of information
  • Dealing with gym intimidation
  • Avoiding program hopping
  • The psychology of maintenance and finding what you enjoy
  • And more . . .

So if you’re new to the fitness game and want some help getting on the right track, or if you have newbie friends who could use a nudge in the right direction, listen to this podcast and share it!


8:40 – How did you get into fitness?

16:04 – What has your experience been with programs?

24:56 – How do you find good sources of information?

42:00 – Did you ever experience gym intimidation? How did you overcome it?

46:47 – What are your thoughts on program hopping?

54:20 – How was the psychology of maintenance for you?

Mentioned on the Show:

Adam’s Pfau’s Instagram

Books by Mike Matthews

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!